By Ken de la Bastide
2013) - Marshall Clark Jr. recorded
his first career victory in the Front Wheel
Drive Oval Division not knowing how close
Nick Warner was to snatching it away.
Clark jumped into the
lead at the start and was able to pull away
Dylan Hoppes, Austin McKinney, Mike Harmon
and Jerry Dane as they battled at times
three-wide for the second spot.
With Clark opening up a
comfortable lead there was plenty of action
in the pack for position. Elliott McKinney
passed Harmon and Hoppes with Warner
following in his tire tracks.
On lap nine, Warner got
inside of E. McKinney on the front straight
and started to cut into Clark’s lead.
Lap after lap Warner
edged closer to Clark and just when it
appeared lapped traffic would have an
impact, Clark was able to hold on to win by
a half-second over Warner.
“I didn’t know he was
there,” Clark said of Warner in the Tim
Thompson Nationwide Insurance winner’s
circle. “I’m glad he raced me clean.”
There was plenty of
action in the two heat races for the
division with three-wide racing the normal
and not the exception.
Clark recorded his third
win in the first heat with a nifty move to
slip inside coming off the second corner
with Paul Phipps and Warner battling for
Warner passed Phipps
coming off the fourth corner on the second
lap and again chased Clark to the checkers.
E. McKinney made a late
charge passing and Dane and A. McKinney to
claim the fourth position with Dane settling
The caution flag waved
before the first lap could be completed when
Hoppes, Cody Riley and JD Blankenship
battled three wide for the point and
Blakenship took the lead
on the restart chased by Jesse Thomas, David
Powell, Hoppes and Tim Nickerson.
Thomas took the lead on
the fourth lap with an outside pass in turn
three and Hoppes around Blankenship on the
Hoppes got inside of
Thomas on the front straight with two laps
remaining to record his second heat win of
the year. Nickerson passed both Blankenship
and Thomas over the final five laps to
Thomas, Blankenship and
Powell rounded out the top five.